[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 21, 1987

Ginevra: Turned Left or Right? Leonardo: Straight or Gay?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Chapman Regional Cancer Center Joplin, Mo

Chapman Regional Cancer Center Joplin, Mo

JAMA. 1987;258(7):912. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070050030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Reply.—  Leonardo posed Ginevra with her torso turned 45 degrees to her left. The five young men in her alcove are turned the opposite way.The charges of pederasty were dropped, but there is no doubt that Leonardo was homosexual. Throughout his life, he surrounded himself with beautiful young men. He abjured the company of women; he wrote of them with disparagement and of their anatomy with loathing. With this in mind, I find it strange that his portraits are of women only.I suspect that Dr Tolone paints too bleak a picture of the lot of homosexuals in the Renaissance. Attitudes of the intelligentsia seem to have been what they are in the United States today. Many practiced, and most were permissive. The church, then as now, was against the practice.